Commentary: Let’s get on the good foot in 2019

Donna Rogers

Commentary: Let’s get on the good foot in 2019
January 03
00:35 2019

By Donna Rogers

I recently wrote a column encouraging people to give young people (and adults) books to read for Christmas. Although Christmas has passed, there are other opportunities to give gifts over a year. Birthdays quickly come to mind. The gift of reading should be given all year long.

I understand that nowadays, books come in various forms, from books on CDs to e-books. Just like newspapers, the forms for books have evolved.

Speaking of newspapers, giving the gift of a newspaper subscription would be lovely. My father subscribed to both daily newspapers in Columbia, S.C., and the black newspaper that was circulating down there, the South Carolina edition of the Afro-American newspaper, based in Baltimore, Maryland. Later, the newspaper Black News was born in Columbia, and he subscribed to that one, too. He wanted to be informed, so he sought out information from many places. That influenced me to want to gain information from many sources, too, and the reading passion that his search for knowledge instilled in me grew to the point I chose to be a journalist as my career.

That passion can still be instilled in youth (and adults). With some nudging and guidance, new worlds can open up for people through reading.

And we know that reading is powerful. Why didn’t slave masters want their slaves to read? Because knowledge gained through reading is power. How did many slaves learn to read? By reading the Bible, which has much knowledge, and therefore, power. What is the saying? If you want to hide something from black people, put it in a book … But many black people are writing books these days, from information about the soap opera that President Donald Trump brings, to children’s books, to inspirational books and Christian fiction (like The Chronicle’s own B.L. Elam has written) etc. The range of the kinds of books is wide.

Reading brings people together.

The world was so helter-skelter in 2018. I hope there will be less of it and more reading in 2019. Let’s get on the good foot and have some unity, like James Brown encouraged in his song:

“I got to get on the good foot

Got to do it on the good foot

Do it with the good foot

Said the long hair hippies and the Afro blacks

They all get together across the tracks

And they party

Ho, on the good foot

You know they dance on the good foot …”

I will be getting on the good foot in another city in North Carolina in 2019, but I hope Winston-Salem and Forsyth County will still read and support The Chronicle and make James Brown’s vision of unity more of a reality.

Donna Rogers is outgoing Managing Editor of The Chronicle.

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Donna Rogers

Donna Rogers

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